Award-winning writer, Jim Mize, has been a beloved contributor to Rethink:Rural since our inception. As a humor writer, outdoorsman, avid fisherman, dog lover and forester Jim's articles are funny, educational and speak to a variety of topics and rural interests. In this short profile, his daughter interviews Jim about his journey to writing, what inspires him and his love for the outdoors.
Jim Mize is an award winning author and photographer who resides in the mountains of South Carolina with his Black Lab, Moose.
Jim has received multiple Excellence in Craft Awards, including for his three outdoor humor books and multiple magazine articles. Jim enjoys writing for multiple publications and his work has appeared in Rethink:Rural’s blog, Grey’s Sporting Journal, American Angler and South Carolina Wildlife Magazine to name a few.
Jim Credits his Father for Inspiring his Love of the Outdoors
Jim is originally from Bassett, Virginia and his love for the outdoors began at an early age, thanks to his father.
Jim credits his father as his biggest outdoor influence and says his dad “loved to hunt, fish and get outdoors”. “The outdoors was a type of therapy for him after [serving in] World War Two”. Jim said he and his dad would fish in any weather. He recalled one instance when an approaching storm drove them into a cove on a fishing trip. Jim and his father snapped the cover on the boat and dropped the anchor to weather the storm. After the storm passed, they realized from the track of downed trees that a tornado had gone directly over the cove their boat was anchored in.
Thanks to his dad’s influence, Jim had successes in the outdoors at an early age. When he was 14, he won the Sports Afield Award for catching the largest brown trout. Jim recalls other outdoor accomplishments such as patterning big deer for friends’ successful hunts, and catching multiple large brown trout out of small, popular mountain streams.
Jim’s love for outdoor writing arose from his hunting background
His hunting seasons were so short, he began hunting with a camera. Jim began selling his outdoor photos to various magazines, and found that if he wrote something to go with the picture he was more successful.
Jim began writing for Rethink:Rural before it was live. An editor for the blog had seen Jim’s writing in Gray’s Sporting Journal and recruited him to contribute to the new blog.
As previously mentioned, Jim has won multiple Excellence in Craft Awards, including for several articles featured on Rethink:Rural’s blog. He is most proud of the awards for his two books because of the competitive nature of the category and the big body of work the books cover.
Jim says his best magazine article is Old Red Shirt which appeared in Gray’s Sporting Journal. Jim remarks “when I write something that’s hard to edit, I know I got it right”. (This article is known to cause many tears, especially in our house).
Jim gathers content for his blog articles by fly fishing, walking and training his dog, hiking and dove hunting. When Jim isn’t writing he also enjoys reading, tying flies for fishing and pursuits in scenic photography. Jim’s future bucket list items include fishing the Driftless area of Wisconsin, in Alaska, Montana, Iceland, and Argentina.
Jim also loves telling stories, which is reflected in his writing
These stories have influenced many people over the years and encouraged many writers to tell their own stories, including myself (his daughter). Jim has been shaping my life and encouraging me to experience the outdoors since I was born. Growing up with a dad who poured his outdoor knowledge into your life and was willing to experience the outdoors with you has encouraged me to do the same with my own children.
More of Jim’s humorous stories can be found in his books, The Winter of our Discount Tent, A Creek Trickles Through It, and his newest award-winning book (pictured right): Hunting with Beanpole, which received the Pinnacle Award from the Professional Outdoor Media Association, the organization's highest honor for books.
To learn more about Jim (and from Jim!), check out his many articles on his Author page here.